Major Considerations to Make When Deciding to Migrate to Cloud

By Mike Sprunger, Senior Manager of Cloud and Network Security

Let’s face it, many cloud migration projects fail to deliver as promised. Insight Cloud + Data Center Transformation (CDCT) has seen firsthand where clients run into issues with their deployments or make uninformed decisions that directly, and negatively, impact their chances of success.

For a variety of reasons, these companies haven’t experienced the cost reductions, performance enhancements, reduced operational overhead, and other benefits they thought they would get with the cloud. They may wonder why they decided to move applications and workloads to the cloud in the first place. The next instinctive move may be to pull these deployments back onto new infrastructure that must be built out, further exacerbating budgetary challenges.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. By considering several operational concerns and following best practices, enterprises can avoid derailing cloud migrations and begin to realize the benefits they’re hoping for with the cloud.

The importance of strategy

One of the most important considerations is the overall enterprise strategy. Moving ahead to the cloud without having a central plan can lead to sizable cost overruns, resource allocation issues, and an extremely muddled IT environment.

Oddly enough, many companies aren’t certain of how many cloud-based services they use. They also lack a long-term strategy to guide their migration into the cloud. So, one of the priorities when migrating data, applications, and workloads to the cloud should be the development of a master strategy that guides the enterprise toward realizing its objectives with the cloud.

Governance that extends to the cloud

Another important consideration is general business governance. Sensitive data in the cloud needs to be handled with the same level of security, privacy, and integrity as data in a corporate data center. There should be a clear definition of rules as part of an overall governance strategy, which among other benefits, can help reduce or eliminate expensive changes to cloud services.

Project management is key

Many organizations have a set way of handling projects. Reusing cloud-enabled templates for project management is just as vital for cloud migration initiatives as it is for other types of projects.

Project and service management activities include identifying business problems or opportunities, defining solutions, formulating the project strategy, and creating a project team. Companies need to make sure they have the necessary skills to devise and execute cloud migration strategies. And if they don’t, they need to look for a third-party vendor who specializes in these skills to partner with on their cloud journey.

Navigating deployment

What types of cloud deployments best suit the needs of the organization is another major factor in a cloud migration. The three main types of services — Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS) — each present unique opportunities and challenges. Companies need to research deployment options and be prepared to support the service type(s) they choose.

The long and the short of it

Many organizations are moving into cloud deployments and are doing so for the first time. Unsurprisingly, they’re unsure of what lies ahead and have not formulated a comprehensive cloud migration strategy. When moving to the cloud, failing to consider all important factors can jeopardize the chances for success. By taking the time to plan, make necessary changes, and engage with experts, enterprises can increase their likelihood for a successful migration to the cloud.

To learn more about these and other considerations when moving applications, workloads, and data to the cloud, read the whitepaper, "Migrate to the Cloud Securely: 10 Key Factors".